- from Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743. At that time, Virginia was one of 13 colonies carved out of the land claimed by Britain in North America. In 1781, the colonies freed themselves from British rule when they won the Revolutionary War.
Over the next several decades, the new nation struggled to find the best form of government for itself and make a place for itself among the older, more powerful nations of the world. Jefferson lived to see his country flourish. Here are some of the highlights—great and small—of his presidency and his lifetime.